"Mountain," Baldwin said, "is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else." Go Tell It On The Mountain, first published in 1953, is Baldwin's first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy's discovery of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a storefront Pentecostal church in Harlem one Saturday in March of 1935. Baldwin's rendering of his protagonist's spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle of self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves
Ok clearly I was missing something. I gave up on page 101 because I just could not be bothered reading on. It is not like me to give up on such a short novel but this was grating on my every nerve.
I hated the Southern American Negro vernacular that was used from the start. The grammatical errors of this speech just annoyed me. Ok,ok, I know that is probably how the characters talked in real life back then but I struggled to follow it. I also thought the writing style (other than the type of speech used) was rather self righteous and long winded. Even 101 pages in, the author had not really made a point, or at least not one that I noticed.
If this is the "most important novel written about the American Negro" then I really need someone to sit down and explain why. Surely, To Kill a Mockingbird would be more important or Gone with the wind, or many other such novels. Luckily, this is a book group choice and I will, partially, get the chance to find out why when we sit down and discuss it.
Sorry to all the diehard fans out there (and Wendy who chose the book) but I just did not get it.